ST. JOHN | Even though Lake Central coach Jereme Rainwater admitted it wasn't the best he's seen his defense play, shutting out any Duneland Athletic Conference opponent is still a significant accomplishment.
Times No. 1 Lake Central did enough on the defensive side of the ball to keep No. 8 LaPorte from finding the net, as the Indians pulled through with a 2-0 win Saturday afternoon.
"Defensively, I thought we made a few mistakes, but we were able to make up for them with a little athleticism," Rainwater said.
"It's always like you're just tweaking (the defense) a little bit and seeing how it goes. We recognized the importance of this game. LaPorte played fantastic. They put a lot of pressure on us in the middle third of the field and left us unable to dictate the final third of the field like we wanted to."
With such a long layoff between games, Lake Central's Ethan Donovan knew the team needed to come out ready to fire on all cylinders offensively.
"(Rainwater) told us to make sure our passes were sharp," said Donovan, who scored L.C.'s second goal with 22:51 left in the second half. "We knew the DAC is on the line, because Chesterton already has more DAC wins than us."
After a lot of offensive pressure to begin the game, Paul Junokas found the net 12 minutes before halftime to give L.C. (8-0-2, 4-0 DAC) a 1-0 lead.
Donovan's insurance goal gave the Indians some breathing room in the hard-fought contest.
"It felt good, and gave us the push that we needed to win the game," Donovan said.
LaPorte (4-4, 1-3) received an excellent defensive game from backup goalkeeper Oscar Alvarez, who made seven saves and several other potential goal-saving stops that don't show up on a stat sheet.
"We don't lose much between our starter and our backup," LaPorte coach Chris Buresh said. "Oscar is a great talent. He played very well and came out and got some balls that were very dangerous. It's too bad we couldn't get a few goals to support him."